grilled cheese sandwich



This is Jamie Oliver's idea, toasted cheese on the outside, so cheese inside and out, and I must say, it is brilliant. Here, watch. 

sweet ginger pickles


11 lbs, 6 oz cucumbers


Quartered, some were cut into 6ths. 

The cucumbers soaked in lime solution overnight. One cup lime to 2 gallons water. They were more crisp when removed than they were when they went in. The plate holding them down froze with cucumbers sticking to it like a porcupine, except on the bottom. I think the lime actually raises the freezing point of water, but I don't know for sure.


2 gigantic hands of ginger



As I finished up, the sky turned to gold.


I am now the proud owner of 6 quarts of extremely delicious sweet ginger pickles. 

Extreme.

That should last at least 2 weeks. 

Gyros, dolmades, gorgeous summer tomato, sour cream


What a delightful meal. Somebody else prepared the gyros and somebody else prepared the dolmades, so all it takes is one minute to nuke.

Somebody on t.v. said their husband doesn't like fresh tomato.

Divorce him!

That's just too weird to live with.

Fresh tomatoes are a million times better than cooked tomatoes and that's a scientific fact that I just now made up.



Baked breaded haddock, miso soup with kombu and bonito dashi, wakame, and tofu


Wakame and tofu in kombu/bonito dashi ↑.


With soy sauce ↑.



With miso added ↑.


My own sweet ginger pickle, onion, mayonnaise ↑.


Breaded haddock that comes in a box already breaded. Just bake it.

How con v-i-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e nient. 

hamburger patty with homemade sauerkraut

This doesn't look all that interesting, and I had doubts, but then the combined taste is quite extraordinary. The two things together defy maths because it goes, 1 + 1 = 14 million.

It blew my mind.

Homemade sauerkraut is fascinating. I don't understand how commercial sauerkraut came to be so incredibly vapid. Why would they even want to do that? Why be so plain?

I put in too much jalapeƱo the first time that increased with fermentation, so that was checked with sugar, and the taste is extraordinary. The next batch leaves out peppercorn and fennel seed and has ginger instead. And it too is extraordinary. It's taken my whole life to discover how fantastic salted fermented cabbage can be, all because I thought what the commercial interests did with it was all that there is to sauerkraut. But that is so wrong that it's not even funny.

It's not funny what America did to sauerkraut.

Here's an idea for you that will make you a fortune. Contrive a line of different types of sauerkraut, from hot to sweet to dynamic such as with ginger or turmeric rhizome, or both. And people will beat down your door to get them. There. You now have the formulation to make yourself millionaire.

You're welcome.




shrimp, cod, and mushroom in kombu-katsuobushi dashi





ginger sauerkraut

I overstuffed these jars to squeeze 3LBs of cabbage into them. That's a bit too much and they filled to the brim. That caused problems. After just overnight the fermentation started and when I burped the jars they fizzed and sputtered and made a mess of the counter and coated the jars with brine.

So I took some out and ate part of it and I must say, it is outstanding.

Why isn't ginger-sauerkraut famous? It's a mystery. Why did I have to invent it? Why isn't in in one of these book, and why isn't it online? Everything I think of is already thought, so where is it?

Huh?

Come on!

This is fantastic.



This is showing gas production overnight, but the jars were already burped after 12 hours and the balloon inflated fully within one hour. It just kept getting tighter. 

hamburger, poached egg, avocado, fresh garden tomato, Parmesan cheese



With lime squeezed all over even on the egg and the hamburger.


One three-LB cabbage fit into two quart jars. 

Three tablespoons of salt five pounds of cabbage. 

So, how much salt for 3 pounds of cabbage?

Both 5 and 3 can be multiplied to 15. So multiply both top and bottom of three over five: 9/15

3 tablespoons salt / 5 pounds of cabbage

Equals:

9 tablespoons salt / 15 pounds cabbage. 

Divide top and bottom by 5

1.8 teaspoons salt / 3 pounds cabbage

Maths! 

Since 1.8 is so close to 2 I used two teaspoons of salt. 

And my Brittany Celtic sea salt is less soda-chloride-y and more mineral-y so I made them heaping teaspoons. And they still didn't produce very much water. I had to add water to the jars. 

This has ginger and thinly sliced red bell pepper. And that's all. No black pepper, no fennel seeds, no mustard seeds, no allspice seeds, no seeds at all. No turmeric. Just ginger. 

Because I'm really digging ginger right now. 

When it's done fermenting, I'll add sugar to adjust the taste to my preference. And I'll probably add citric acid to get the taste away from that weird lactic acid taste produced by the process. These will not be stored. In a few days they'll go into the refrigerator and they'll both be gone in a week or two. Maybe three. 









Sweet ginger pickles



The cucumbers were purchased from a really cool Greek neighborhood grocery and butcher. A boutique. Nearly like Whole Foods except a lot less expensive.  I bought half the bin, a full plastic grocery bag. Cost: $17.something. They were perfect. And they taste good as raw cucumbers. I kept telling myself, what if I'm filling the jars and I'm short just 1, 2, 3 cucumbers? Stop eating them, they have purpose.

10 Cups sugar
6 Cups vinegar
1 teaspoon Britany sea salt
2 big fat honking hands of ginger, thinly sliced to paper thinness on the mandolin. That was fun. 
1/2 jar allspice berries. 
1 bay leaf for each jar

I was supposed to add onion slices but I forgot. 

Tasted the syrup and was satisfied. It will do very nicely.

Cucumbers soaked and rinsed. They weren't so nearly dirty as they look in the first photograph. Nothing came off of them.

Quartered lengthwise and generously salted and left to weep their liquid for, oh, say an hour or so.

Rinsed again.

Soaked in packed ice water in the sink. A full 10 LB bag of ice. For several hours, I'm guessing four, possibly five. 

Ate a few more cucumber quarters.

Syrup brought to a boil again, cucumbers added and boiled until they changed color to translucent. Then jarred. The jars filled to just 1/2 inch below the rim. At this moment they're cooling down. They'll go directly into the refrigerator. 

There is nothing here to guarantee shelf life. They must be consumed fairly quickly and I have no doubt I can do that.  



ebi katsu sando

Ebi = shrimp
Katsu = fried
Sando = sandwich


Frozen shrimp 1/2 cut into chunks, 1/2 finely diced, mixed with saki, toasted sesame seed oil, mirin, flour and cornstarch.


Homemade sauerkraut. 


Catsup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce.


Homemade Pulman style bread.





Napa cabbage, shrimp, mushrooms, ginger, turmeric


God, I love this stuff. I must now pray.

Dear God, I love this stuff. Amen.

Contains 7 mysterious magical ingredients + finely chopped ginger.

turmeric fried potato with tomato and eggs with bonito flakes, and miso soup




I asked the guy at Whole Foods what the bug-like ginger root-looking things are and he told me they're turmeric roots. 

You can grow those things very easily. Like horseradish. Buy a few of the roots right there at the store and just plant them. They'll take over the whole area in no time. They multiply like dividing yeast cells. They look like a bug larva with buds already growing out their sides eager to multiply

YouTube videos say that turmeric is not so easily absorbed but in combination with black pepper the absorption rate is multiplied by 2,000%. 

That's an amazing increase. 

This is powdered turmeric that I bought a long time ago but never used. I'm starting to really like it. 

It stains like the dickens so if you decide to buy the rhizomes then best to wear latex gloves, because everything will become stained.   

That's why Indian dancers and Hare Krishna wear yellow. They want you to think its dyed from saffron, but originally their light cotton gowns were white but they made such a mess of themselves grating turmeric they gave up and went with yellow. That's also how the dots got on their foreheads. They itched their forehead and BLAM permanent dot.  (<--- I might have made up those last two things.)

It tastes really good. With loads of black pepper.

Ginger ale (second try)


Four days fermentation, the bottles are burped. 

They show a lot of effervescence, but the chilled drinks are still rather flat.



To me the taste is not that pleasant, insufficiently sweet. They have a faint alcoholic taste that I don't care for. On the first sips I can feel it in the veins in my neck. 

When the jars are strained and sugar added then they taste much better, closer to commercial sugary carbonated drinks taste, and when I run them through the Soda Stream then they are very close to commercial but with the benefit of probiotic drink. 

My next batch will stronger with ginger so that it nearly burns. I'll be sure to add molasses for depth, and continue with adding more sugar after fermentation and carbonation until fizzy through the Soda Stream. I like the adjusted version very much. But then my personal taste is closer to hummingbird preference on the sugary sweetness scale. 

I you like wine and beer then you'll probably like the less sweet version. 

Care package, beef tenderloin, Colorado peaches, local tomatoes, homemade Pullman bread

With various easy-to-eat vegetables, red bell pepper, zucchini, and deli coleslaw.


I must talk about this situation and this tenderloin.

This is a care package for a friend in recovery. He'll be released today.

I'm drawing on the recent experience with the pork tenderloin roast purchased from a regular grocery store, on sale, that lead to beef tenderloin roast prepared the same way, but purchased from Whole Foods at considerably greater cost. I loved both of those two things. They worked for summer meals very well. No preparation at all, after they were cooked.

I watched the butcher trim the roast and tie it up in bondage. The trimming is extraordinarily detailed. There are internal sections that are trimmed, silver skin that's a bit difficult to wrest, and bits and pieces all over the place. Each move reveals more area of trimming, so the process goes on for, I don't know, a long time, seems at least ten minutes, possibly more. He trimmed more than I would have trimmed. The resulting piece was about three pounds and barely fit stuffed into my cast iron grill pan. Charcoal grills are disallowed in downtown apartments for fire control reasons. 

Another week-worth of top beef combined with Colorado peaches and berries or tomatoes at the peak of their season. I love this time of year for those two things. 

Now my friend is recovering starting today and I want him to have this same thing. 

But this time, instead of Whole Foods, I went to Oliver's Butcher on Capitol Hill where I can buy aged USDA prime, grass-finished beef. It's built in to be even more expensive than Whole Foods. 

The Whole Foods whole tenderloin was $80.00. I didn't know this, but that was a small section. This tenderloin section is much larger plus it is aged, and it is Prime. Cost $150.00. It will not fit in my pan. I visualized giving the guy a pan-worth, the same that I had before that I know equals a week of nibbling at top meat. 

This means that I'm forced to keep some. Yay! Yippie! Hurray!

I meant to say, what a bummer.

This teaches me a lesson. Tenderloin segments come in various sizes. I did not know that. I expected they're all near the same size. Not so. Their sizes vary greatly. So much that it means the difference, in a place like Olivers, between $100.00 - $150.00. At Oliver's the beef tenderloin displayed in their case was half the size of this one. That was the size I was expecting. 

I also learned that telling these butcher guys that they did a great job of trimming and tying your tenderloin means a lot to them. In both cases the butchers opened up expansively once I told them how much I appreciate their acute attention to detail. A third butcher at a different Whole Foods opened expansively just talking about what I was looking for and what I intended. I told them what I notice them doing, and they deeply appreciate that. It's surprising how much mileage you get from a simple complement. This last guy told me he appreciated me saying so because he is new there at Oliver's and he hasn't trimmed that many tenderloins yet. It's a real job. Very involved. 






2nd half ↓


I'm keeping the smaller portion. ↓





The bread was done last night on a whim. This is a spontaneous loaf.  I want the guy to try tomato sandwiches with these outstanding tomatoes, trusting the guy has mayonnaise. If not, well, then King Soopers and Whole Foods deliver. Bell peppers because they can be eaten like an apple, and sugar peas and zucchini because they cook up in seconds. All the berries available, deli coleslaw. All the Colorado peaches a guy can eat in a week and more tomatoes than he can manage. Those can be eaten individually as well. Things that you can just grab and eat, or exceedingly little preparation. That's the idea. 

This is a fine project. I had a lot of fun putting it together. Presently, it's assembled and I'm waiting for the call telling me that he's home and I'll I drive it right over there.  

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